News in Asia: Fashion Edition

This week’s column is inspired partly by this post, which highlights some of the awesome things about the country of Pakistan; one of which is their fashion industry.

Admittedly, I am not an extremely fashionable person when it comes to my day-to-day life, mostly because I hesitate to spend money and I don’t have the patience for thrifting. However, I appreciate fashion and will scroll through pictures of runway shows; wishing I  could get nominated for an Oscar so I could wear all the pretty dresses.

So, as a break from some of the extremely sad news in the world, we are going to focus on the fashion industries of several countries.


There have been some heartbreaking stories out of Pakistan lately, including a ground invasion in the north of the country (which has been overshadowed in the media by the invasion of Gaza); however, Pakistan also has one of the largest textile industries in the world and the fashion industry is growing. Pakistan Fashion Week in London took place a few weeks ago. This site gives a list of prominent designers, including Rana Noman and Lajwanti.


India’s fashion industry is larger and more established than Pakistan’s. India’s Couture Week was this month and some of the fashion shows incorporated Bollywood stars as models. Bridal fashion is big as are traditional designs; however, there are designers like Manish Arora who is the Creative Director of the fashion house Paco Robanne and Gaurav Gupta, who employs more Western cuts.

Model in silver dress on the runway  in  Gaurav-Gupta
Photo courtesy of India Vogue and Sagar Ahuja.


What’s really awesome about fashion in Japan isn’t so much what shows up on the runway, but what people are wearing on the street. I spent two days in Tokyo last year and couldn’t get enough of what the women (and men) were wearing. I wish I had the money to spend on clothes; instead, I just admired the style of everyone from the young to the older on the train and walking about their daily lives, trying to take mental  notes. Men and women looked like they could be featured on the Sartorialist.

South Korea

Given that I lived in South Korea for two years, I wanted to include the fashion industry from the Korean peninsula. Ever since the popularity of Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” Korean fashion and culture is more on the forefront of the world stage, largely due to the Top 10 South Korean fashion designers in 2014. The biggest fashion event in the country is Seoul Fashion Week, which is big amongst the fashion elite, but doesn’t garner the same attention as other international fashion showcases. One theory as to why puts the blame on the search engine Naver, which gets more use in South Korea than Google and keeps the information and news more in Seoul. It’s worth checking out the collections of the “Generation Next” designers, who represent the future of the Korean fashion industry.

By Stephens

Florida girl, would-be world traveler and semi-permanent expat. Her main strategy of life is to throw out the nets and hope something useful comes back, but many times it's just an old shoe. She also really, really hates winter and people who are consistently late.

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